Team USA will wrap up World Baseball Classic pool play on Wednesday against Colombia. With a win, the Americans will advance to the quarterfinals of the WBC. Thus far in pool play, the U.S. has defeated Great Britain and Canada and lost to Mexico. Colombia, meantime, beat Mexico and Canada but were upset by Great Britain. After round-robin pool play is completed, the top two teams in each five-team pool advance to what amounts to a single-elimination eight-team tournament. The Americans are the defending WBC champions, having won the tournament the last time it was held, back in 2017. You can view the full tournament schedule by clicking here. Now let’s move on to how you can watch Team USA’s matchup with Colombia. Team USA vs. Colombia how to watchDate: Wednesday, Mar. 15 | Time: 10:00 p.m. ETLocation: Chase Field (Phoenix)TV channel: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)Odds: USA -5000; COL +1600; O/U: 11.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)Starting pitchers: RHP Merrill Kelly (USA) vs. LHP Luis De Avila (Colombia)
Players to watchThe Team USA rotation has been a source of much hand-wringing during and leading up to the WBC. Lance Lynn flipped that particular script against Canada, and now 34-year-old Merrill Kelly has a chance to further ease those concerns and pitch the Americans into the quarterfinals. Kelly over his four-year career with the Arizona Diamondbacks has pitched to a 3.96 ERA/107 ERA+ with a 3.01 K/BB ratio. In 2022, Kelly was better from the run-prevention standpoint with a 3.37 ERA/119 ERA+ across an NL-leading 33 starts. Kelly has below-average fastball velocity, but he keeps hitters off balance with a five-pitch repertoire and good spin on the curve and fastball. On the Colombia side, infielder Gio Urshela remains the most compelling talent on the roster. In addition to Urshela’s plus glove at multiple positions, he’s got an OPS+ of 119 at the plate in MLB since his breakout season in 2019 with the Yankees.PredictionThe stakes are high for Team USA, and on paper they far and away have the superior roster in this matchup — especially when it comes to the lineup. Those hitters and the impressive corps of U.S. relievers should carry them to a fairly comfortable win over Colombia and a spot in the Final Eight.
Pick: Team USA 8, Colombia 3